About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor

These Boots Went-a Walkin’

Recently, I pulled an oracle card that night, asking what tomorrow was going to be like. The card indicated that there was going to be a loss.

Oh, great, I thought, but then countered with, It is what it is. You can’t change it. Just go with the flow.

I went to bed not thinking about it, not worrying about it.

The next day, I went out to eat and stopped at the mailbox before going inside. As I walked toward my front door, I noticed something was sticking out of the sole of my snow boot. Something about four inches long and skinny. Not a stick. Whatever it was, it appeared attached.

I waited until I was inside and took off the boot to see what it was.

I was crushed. It was part of the sole, the side of the boot itself!

NO! No, no, NO!

The piece hung loosely, still attached. I pulled it off, thinking I could glue it all back together. Gorilla glue, after all, is a marvelous repair tool. But alas, the sole was loose as well and had been for some time with debris deteriorating the underside of the sole and the bottom of the boot, more than what could be repaired.

And then, I realized—THIS WAS MY LOSS from the oracle card! I’d had those boots for 20 years! They were older than most of my grandchildren.

When I’d bought them, I’d paid somewhere between $129-$159, which was a lot of money for me at the time considering my job status with no benefits and being a fulltime student, as well. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to purchase them as I couldn’t wear cheap shoes as they hurt my feet. I suffered from neuropathy in my feet and hadn’t been able to determine the cause. (It would be another 17 years before I would.)

These boots were ECCOs—hence the expense—and I discovered I could wear them all day without pain. Plus, I’d always had trouble finding a boot I could slide into easily because of my high instep and the high bone on the top of my foot that prevented that easy slide. At least with this pair, I didn’t have that problem.

These boots were perfect! Both in wear and in looks. They got compliments everywhere they went. They were coveted, desired, and admired by many.

Quickly, with an online search, I discovered there was no replacing them. No longer manufactured, there wasn’t anything even remotely close to a pair like these, not in any brand. Of course, being the middle of winter, stores had boots on sale. Had I made this discovery a week or two later, I’d probably have found nothing in the stores to replace them.

I ended up replacing them with what I called old lady boots, ankle-short boots that zipped on the outside. Not made for being in the snow at all. But then again, given my age and the fact that I no longer live in the lake-effect snow district or play in the snow, I guess ankle-short boots will do the job. For now.

When I told the story to a friend, she told me to call my new boots princess boots instead. I like princess boots a lot better than old lady boots, don’t you?

I hated the thought of having to trash these boots. They were the best friend a girl living in the snowy northland could have ever wanted.

They will be missed.

Amarillo By Morning

My sister, Eileen, died suddenly in February 2013. Before that, she was taking care of Mom, doing her laundry, taking her to doctor visits, etc.

At Eileen’s funeral her favorite song, Amarillo By Morning by George Strait was played.

I downloaded it into my iTunes account and added it to my playlist, which I used while writing on my iPad. While teaching and working, I carried my iPad everywhere just as I did my paper planner. I discovered I could write on my iPad with it acting very much like a computer, wherever I went and could block out noise using my earphones and playlist. At the time, my iPad was lighter to carry than my laptop and far easier to turn on, use, and then turn off.

The thing you have to know is that whenever I shut down the iPad, I shut down all and any of the apps that are open. I learned to do that because, during one month, I discovered apps had been running in the background using up data even though I wasn’t using the apps. They couldn’t update automatically if the apps were all closed and the iPad turned off.  

I carried the iPad, the planner, and any school work I might working on with me in a black bag that always had my pencils, pens, a cord extension, and other incidentals that I didn’t want to put in my purse.

On this particular day, my brother and I were in an ER room at the hospital. My mother had arrived by ambulance before we got there, and just as we got into her room, they were wheeling her out for some tests. We waited.

I was sitting on a stool next to where her bed had been, my purse and bag on the floor, close but out of the way so no one could kick or trip on them. My brother was standing next to me, legs crossed, arms crossed, and we were talking about Mom’s situation.

All of sudden, music started playing. Amarillo By Morning. And, it was coming out of my bag.

He looked down at it. Then, looked at me, a questioning expression on his face.

I held up my hands, saying, “I didn’t touch it.”

I pulled out the iPad and opened the cover from the keyboard so that we could see the screen. It was dark.

I double-clicked on the home button to reveal the apps that were playing.


Yet, the music button on the taskbar was highlighted. I clicked on it. George Strait’s picture filled the screen.

I looked up at my brother and said, “Eileen did that. She’s letting us know that she’s here with us, with Mom.”

That was the second time she had turned on my music, while my iPad was in my bag.

I’ve been waiting to see if she’d do it again. I suspect that she’s waiting to surprise me, to catch me off guard, knowing that she got me. I can hear her chuckling now.

Disappearing . . . How I Become Invisible—Literally

Yup, you read that right.

Ironic, when I think about how much I never wanted to be invisible when I was young, how I wanted to be seen, wanted to be noticed. Quite the wallflower back then, I’m okay still being one now. I enjoy watching nature, watching people, watching events unfold.

I’ve come to recognize it as one of my writer traits.

2003, a walk in the forest . . .

The first incident involved my oldest daughter, where we were walking one of the trails at the Nature Center in Kalamazoo.  It was a favorite setting as we could indulge in our mutual, earth-science interests, particularly the tall people as Native Americans call trees.

I was alone on a trail, waiting for my daughter, who had made a pit stop, to catch up to me. The forest was eerily quiet—no kids, no walkers, no other visitors where their voices would have carried on the air, making themselves known.

We were totally alone.

As I waited, I leaned up against a slim maple tree next to the trail, one that if I had stood behind I would have been seen, wondering what it would be like to disappear into the tree. 

Almost instantly, I felt as if I had slipped into the tree, it embracing my body. Immediately, it felt like sap was running through my veins, and I could feel ants climbing on me, as if my skin was bark. The sensation was both strange and peaceful.

Then, I heard my daughter calling me. “Mom? Mom? Where are you?”

I looked up and saw her walking right in front of me on the path, so close if I had reached out, I could have touched her. And then, she looked right at me but didn’t see me.

“Mom?” she called out again.

Her steps were taking her away, so I stepped out from the tree and spoke.

She twirled around and stared at me.  “Where were you?”

“Right here.”

“No, you weren’t.” 

“You walked right past me.  You looked right at me.”

“No, I didn’t. You weren’t here.”

By this time, she had experienced several paranormal events with me over the past few years.

We stared at each other, knowing exactly what had just happened. I had disappeared.

May 2008, Mackinac Island ballroom . . .  

Another disappearing event occurred when a good friend and I traveled to Mackinac Island, staying in the Grand Hotel, a bucket-list item event for each of us.

On the first night of our two-night stay, there was a ballroom dancing event and my friend wanted to go. I didn’t. She believed if we went, someone would ask us to dance.

“No, they won’t,” I said. “These are vacationing couples. Married couples. No one is going to ask us to dance.”

Not convinced, she kept insisting.  Finally, I agreed to go, but silently, I told myself that I wanted to be invisible.  I would go to observe, but I didn’t want to be bothered.

We entered the ballroom and sat at one of the few empty tables near the dance floor. My friend believed that the closer we sat to the dance floor, the better chance we’d have of getting asked to dance.

As I looked around, sure enough, there were couples at the tables, two or four people per table. There were no singles anywhere.

 I was content to sit back and just watch.

A waitress walked back and forth between the bar and other tables, including ones around us that now had customers. She never once stopped, asking what we wanted. My friend began raising her hand, even waving in an attempt to get the waitress’ attention.

My friend said, “It’s like we’re invisible.”


Because my friend was miffed, both that the waitress was ignoring us and no one was asking us to dance, I decided to remain silent, but I knew what was happening.

After another fifteen minutes passed, she said, “Let’s go. Obviously, we’re being ignored.” Going upstairs, she kept remarking how rude the staff was, how rude all those men were.

“Those men belonged to other women, as in someone’s husband or boyfriend,” I reminded her.

“Well, they still could have asked us to dance. Couldn’t they see we didn’t have partners?”

The next morning, she remarked once again, how odd it was that no one had seen us, not even to ask if we wanted any drinks.

That was when I explained that we had been invisible.

At first, she looked at me as if I had two heads.  So, I told her about my daughter not seeing me when standing against a tree, where I’d been invisible before. I wasn’t sure if she was buying my explanation or not, but I could see her thinking about it.

Finally, she said, “Well, next time, leave me out of your invisible bubble!”


One time, I was at a coffee shop with my paraphernalia spread across the entire table, where I was reading and working. A family started to pull out chairs and even sit when I spoke. The surprised look on their faces was priceless.

I have learned, however, to make sure I’m not invisible while driving. That surprised look on another driver’s face when they pulled out in front of me is not one that I want to be repeated.

There have been other events, other times where I’ve not been aware that I’d become invisible. Plus, it’s been a while since I became invisible on purpose.

I’ve got an event coming up this weekend. This could be fun.

The Day I Couldn’t Breathe

Almost two years ago, on March 7, 2019, I had only another minute to live. I was gasping for air, tying to inhale, and couldn’t.

My bronchial tube wouldn’t open.

A cold had become acute bronchitis. It was the second time in two years where I was coughing so hard, my sinuses were being pushed out through my eyes, so said the doctor.

I was taking expectorant, drinking lots of broth, chicken soup, water, and Gatorade. I had two humidifiers running, that were going through two gallons of water each day. Plus, I was taking Mucinex D, which was supposed to be drying my sinuses up, but it wasn’t working enough this time.

The problem was that my sinuses were draining during the night and the next morning I’d wake up and have a ten-minute coughing fit. This morning, though, there was no coughing.

That 7th day of March, I woke up and immediately couldn’t breathe. At all. And, I didn’t know why. My gaze went to the clock, watching the minute hand. I kept gasping for intake air but couldn’t make it happen.


I started panicking. Thirty seconds has already passed. I lifted my arms straight up into the air, a trick my ex-mother-in-law used whenever she was coughing. It always worked for her.

Didn’t work. Now, sixty seconds had passed.

I had thirty seconds left, sixty at the most, if I was really lucky, but I’ve never been able to hold my breath longer than ninety seconds. Thirty. That’s all I had.

I start pounding my chest. I tried to cough hard. Bent-over, coughing harder than I ever had before.


I’m trying anything and everything I can think of, anything from all my first-aid training. Mind scrambling through the actions of TV doctors and EMT techniques.


This is it. You’re going to pass out, and they’re going to find flies. Right here in the middle of your bedroom.

And then, I heard a voice. Relax. Just relax.

I dropped to my knees beside the bed, my torso and head on the bed. I let go, relaxing everything. I’ve done it in the dentist chair when I’ve felt myself tensing up. I’ve done it before when falling, which has kept me from severely injuring myself, so I do it again. Drop the shoulders, relax the muscles, blow out the air…

In only a second or two, I’m relaxed. My airway opened up, just enough for me to finally breathe in. In another minute, I’m up and breathing normally again.

Scariest moment of my life.

While I’ve always believed that I’ll probably die alone, I never thought it would be because I couldn’t breathe. Though, I have had moments of choking on a grape, laughing, and inhaling air wrong, and now there’s the horror of COVID-19.

Obviously, someone on the other side wasn’t wanting me to join them, yet.

Listening to those voices from the other side and following directions without question does have its advantages.

Dad’s Visit

For the past several days and evenings, the strong smell of a pipe has filled my entire apartment. I know that Dad, who died in 2008, often visits, but in the past, I would smell his morning toast. It’s been a while since I smelled his pipe. Most of the time, he’s here for just a short time. A few hours, and then the smell disappears.

Not this time.

Dad loved to play games, as do I. He worked in electronics, repairing TVs in his first career. Later in life, I got him involved with computers where he ended up writing his own programs in DOS and then repairing computers. (Anyone still wondering where I get it from?)

Soon after his death, he communicated with me by playing with my VCR. I’d turn it off. He’d turned it on. Repeatedly. That’s when I smelled the pipe the first time. I could hear him chuckling, and then, he’d be gone. He’d come back from time to time with his toast smell the giveaway. Just checking in, never staying long.

He was a night-owl, too, as am I. Often, it’s three in the morning, sometimes five o’clock before I finally go to sleep.

Because I’m no longer eating gluten or allergen foods, the nerves in my feet that first started going numb back in 2000 are coming back to life. I can tell by the shooting pain that occurs in a new area from time to time. For the past year, the pain has been predominantly along the top of my left foot. Recently, I’ve had the addition of extreme curse-screaming pain in the sole of the same foot.

While I welcome the pain most of the time because I’m discovering where the nerves are firing up and where feeling is coming back, the pain can also hinder my ability to sleep unless I’m mindfully exhausted. It’s in that pre-sleep, restful, down-time when I’m more cognizant of my feet and the pain that occurs. The pain doesn’t occur every night, and I rarely notice it during the day because I’m busier, concentrating on other things.

Typically, at night, I’ll shut down the writing, move away from the computer anywhere from seven to ten, depending what I’m working on. At that point, I transistion to watching taped shows while I play games or color on my iPad. Often, I realize that I’ve nodded off, sitting up, for a few minutes to maybe twenty. It’s just enough of a cat nap to carry me through until the wee hours.

Last night was one of those nights where I was playing and watching, cursing the constant shooting pain where even ice and Biofreeze wasn’t touching it, cursing it to stop.

Suddenly, the game app shut down. The pipe smell got stronger.

I’d opened the app back up, only to have it shut down again a minute later…just as I got the game started again.

It shut down again.

I cleared out all the cookies and reopened the app.

A minute later, it shut down.

I closed all the programs that were open and reopened the app.

A minute later, it shut down.

I rebooted he entire iPad and reopened the app.

A minute later, it shut down.

With each shut down, the pipe smell got stronger and stronger. It was now midnight. The air was thick with the smell.

Finally, I said, “Okay, I know you’re here. Obviously, you’re trying to get my attention. What are you trying to tell me?”

Instantly, I got the sense that I needed to go out into the living room—my office—and work on my novella. To forget the iPad games. Forget TV.

So, I did. Two hours passed quickly. I made great progress toward conquering the hump I’d been trying to get over with the novella’s timeline and consistency problems I’d been finding.

I noticed that the pains had stopped.

I went back into the bedroom, opened the app, and for an hour, colored and played games, watching a program to help wind my brain down from the writing.

No shut downs.

Thanks, Dad.

An Ask of the Birds: Stop Loving My Car

This is my fifth summer in this apartment complex. I love it for many reasons: my own front door, one story, older community, close to the grocery store, it’s quiet…

What I really enjoy is having nothing more than a postage stamp of a front yard on one side of the sidewalk to my door, where I’m able to plant a flower garden and set up bird feeders that I watch while at my desk writing.

On the other side of the sidewalk is a huge red maple tree. Birds like to use it as a way-station coming to and from my feeders. At night, they’ve roosted there. How do I know? I could tell by the amount of poo I find on the trunk of the car each morning.

I always park in the same spot under this tree. Why not move elsewhere, you ask? Because the spot is at the end of my sidewalk, thus I’m able to back my car into the spot, which makes for ease of loading & unloading both from the trunk and the backseat, plus my ease of access to the driver’s seat.

Four full seasons of Poo Wars. I’d wash the car. Next day blobs of white. New blogs every day until I either went to the car wash again, or we got a heavy rain that would wash it off for me.

It started again this summer. As usual. By May, I had washed my car many times, which in itself was unusual considering how long winter lasted into April this year.

Finally, one fine day in early May, I came home with a clean car, got out, looked up at the tree, and said: Okay birds. I’ll continue feeding you and you can roost in the tree all you want but no more pooping on my car!

Since that date, there’s not been one dropping.


Three whole months. Lots of birds at the feeders. More so this year than ever. Even orioles and lots of woodpeckers.

And still, not one dropping.


Who says the Universe doesn’t listen?

They Come A-Calling with Their Smells

Last night, someone passed through my apartment, someone who strongly smelled of fast-food fried chicken, like Popeyes.

In recent days, I’ve smelled pork chops, hash, and a blueberry pie, all from separate individuals. I have no idea who they are. Another individual came through smelling strongly of bleach.

All strangers.

People who have died during this pandemic period of time and are checking out the open doors that some of us maintain.

I can feel their confidence growing as they find someone noticing them. They’re finding their way around their new landscape, learning the rules of being on the other side.

They’re not unhappy, just curious, wanting to seek out ways of communicating with their loved ones. Testing us, total strangers with those open doors, in learning how to make contact.

You’re probably saying, these are smells normally in my apartment. Actually, no, they’re not. I haven’t used bleach in years. I’m allergic to both pork and blueberries, so neither are found in my apartment, and I have never made hash. I’ve eaten plenty in my younger days, but I’ve never made it.

While I share two walls with neighbors, in the four-plus years I’ve lived here, odors from these other two apartments have never leaked into mine. And, the front door has been closed as we await spring, so no odors aren’t coming from there.

How can I tell these are people on the other side? Because the odors come and go. Suddenly, the scent is there, and then, once I’ve noticed them, it’s gone. They’ve moved on, probably to test more doors or to finally try contacting their loved ones.

That ability is called clairalience. It’s a psychic gift of spiritual smells.

These folks aren’t the first souls to visit me, letting me know they’re nearby via their scents. A best friend who died suddenly owned four cats. Her home never smelled like a litter box. Ever. Yet, I always know when it’s her because of the cat smell. Over our forty-plus years of friendship, she had many cats. For some reason, many ended up sick, needing good veterinarian care, which she provided. Several died too young. I’m sure on the other side, she was happily reunited with them all. So, it made sense that a litter box was her signatory scent for me. Still is. She doesn’t visit as frequently now, but her goal has always been to push me forward with a particular pet writing project we shared. I’m working on it again, as a result of her visits, her insistence.

Another woman, someone I knew but hadn’t seen in probably half a year, visited me upon her death, but I was puzzled by the pee smell. When I asked about it with someone who was close to her, that person said yes, that was how she smelled in her last few months. Her few visits with me shortly after her death were more about her checking out the open doors than anything else.

My ex-mother-in-law came frequently upon her death. Her pot roast was phenomenal, so it only made sense she appeared with that scent. Her first visit was for a particular, personal reason. After that, she appeared a few more times, just to visit.

When my father visits, he usually comes with the smell of his early morning toast or his pipe tobacco. I say usually, because in the beginning, just after his death, he’d play with my TV or VCR, turning it on if I turned it off, or vice-versa. Spirits love to play with our electric appliances: lights, computers, TVs, stereos, etc. Because we are all energy, electricity is a natural conductor for them. With his history of repairing TVs and then later computers, for him to play with mine made total sense. I could hear him chuckling every time I called him out.

These are just a few examples of the many people who have visited me with their smells.

Have you ever noticed a familiar smell in an unlikely place or at an unlikely time, meaning the scent isn’t associated with your current location or time of day? If so, you probably were visited by someone you know. Someone from the other side.

As these people move through my apartment, I acknowledge them, wish them well, and continue to be amazed at the tremendous love that surrounds them. No doubt, there will be many more souls this coming month or two while the pandemic ravages our country.

I wonder what my scent might be when my time comes? I’m hoping it’ll be Chanel 5, my favorite cologne, and the only cologne I can wear. That or old books.

With the Little Voice, All Things Matter

That morning on February 5, I was going to Kalamazoo to meet with a writer friend for lunch where we’d talk about our writing projects, and then to my half-hour appointment at 4:45 p.m. Afterward, the drive home would be a 45-minute trip, on an already busy highway (I-94) during rush hour. There was a weather alert for 2-5 inches of snow to begin about 7 p.m.

Figuring I’d be home long before the snow began, I put on my shoes, the last thing I do before going out the door. My little voice said, “Put on your boots.”

“Boots? But there’s no snow on the ground,” I argued, “and I’ll be home before the first flake falls.”

“Take the boots.”

Usually, I listen to my Little Voice. This time I didn’t.

As I sat in my appointment chair later that afternoon, I looked out the window.


Not a lot. So light, I could barely see them.

By the time I left half an hour later, everything was covered with snow. As I walked to my car, my shoes slid on the icy, slicker-than-normal snow already an inch thick.

A mile down the four-lane divided road, a car on the opposite side turned to cross our side, crossing directly in front of two cars. We were all sliding, trying to stop.

BOOM! Two of the cars collided. Fortunately, my lane wasn’t blocked.

Another mile later, I entered the first highway. Thankfully the traffic was sparse despite it being rush hour. I say thankfully because I slid a bit into the other lane as I moved off the ramp onto the highway. I was only going 35 mph, but even that was too fast for the slick road.

My next highway—I-94—was traffic heavy. Seeing a gap in traffic, I scooted over to the lane next to the far-left lane to avoid all the cars coming onto the highway because of rush hour. I was in a safe place considering the slick roads and the massive amount of traffic.

Immediately, I saw spinning blue lights on the other side of the highway.

A major wreck had traffic at a standstill. For sixteen miles. And, miles and miles of more traffic would be adding to that length. Along those miles, there had been other additional accidents.

While I passed several single-car slide accidents on my side of the highway, where they had slid into the concrete wall, our side’s traffic wasn’t at a standstill or delayed. Yet.

My goal now was to keep a good distance between those cars in front of me and those behind me. As usual, it was the four-wheel trucks that were racing by. Everyone else, semis included, was going 35 mph or slower.

Finally getting home after an hour and a half that should have been a forty-minute drive, I kicked off my wet, snowy shoes.

My boots laughed at me. My Little Voice said, “Told ya.”

“Yeah, I know,” I told them. “I should have listened.”

That Little Voice really is all-knowing. It’s never been wrong. EVER

Big or small, I know better than to ignore that Little Voice. It knows. Always.

The Power of Visualization, Part II: The Power of Making It Happen

When I was in my late 20s, I had fleeting visions of wanting educational degrees, in particular, a Ph.D. I say fleeting because I was raising a family and there was no way I could be on a college campus, let alone have a way to pay for it. This was the time period before affordable computers for individuals and before the Internet became public.

It was an idea so far out of my reach that it was an impossible dream. At that time, my education consisted of an executive secretarial certification from a business university—one where I would later in life find a career as a teacher. An irony not lost on me.

On June 29, 2013, at the age of 62, I walked across the stage and was hooded for a Ph.D. I was an English professor, overseeing two campuses at the time. In earlier years, I’d overseen three different locations, spending a lot of time traveling, in addition to teaching, and overseeing a dozen or so adjuncts at these locations.

It was my employer who had propelled me toward the degree and had paid for its tuition. How could I not want to achieve that goal with that kind of help? It was a win-win for me and for them. In exchange, I couldn’t leave their employment for five years, a price I was willing to pay.

Now that I had the Ph.D., along with my MFA, I felt secure in my career, and the university wanted me to publish. The problem was I wanted to focus on both creative writing and academic writing but I didn’t have time for both. I had to choose.

My gut told me to go with creative writing, and it was my first choice, but would the university agree? After a brief discussion, my supervisor agreed with me, saying the MFA and my previous publications created a more natural path for me. She supported me in that decision.

Life events kept getting in the way of doing that writing, however. After being involved in a 22-car pile up on the highway while traveling from one campus to another, I sent a request out into the Universe. My request was, I want writing time but where I’m allowed to live comfortably enough without horrific sacrifice.

It was late fall 2014 when I made that request.

As was happening with many colleges and universities, student enrollment was dropping and had been every year for several years. Fewer classes got offered. I watched as an organizational restructuring took place. I’d seen it happen a few times in my twelve-year employment with them and with every restructure, jobs would disappear.

The last big restructuring had taken place a few years earlier where they shut down several of the smallest campuses. We knew the Battle Creek campus would be next, and then our Kalamazoo campus after that.

Those campuses residing in community college environments were becoming partners with those community colleges. We could see the writing on the wall for Kalamazoo. By late spring 2015, we figured we had only a year left. As summer progressed, we were confident we’d be closed at the winter Christmas break. We were prepared.

Late June 2015, a meeting with all the senior administration occurred. Not usual for that time of year as we prepared for another year. A couple times a year such meetings would take place. We figured this would be the talk for the winter closing.

What some of us didn’t know is that day would be our last.

I was taken into a room with a senior human resource official. I was informed that I was being let go as they were shutting down our campus for all classes that fall. The core administrative staff was moving to another location and classes would be held on the community college campus. We were six weeks away from classes starting. When I left the room, I would have 10 minutes to gather my things and could arrange to come back later to collect anything else.

I sat there, in my usual stoic manner, thinking it all through.

I wasn’t stunned at all. Just merely surprised that we hadn’t guessed correctly.

And then I realized. I had asked for this. I said the words aloud. The HR official’s expression was one of surprise. Great surprise. “You’re not angry?”

“How can I be when I asked for this?” I told her of my fall request, saying this was the Universe answering that request. She was astonished and I could tell that she was also relieved that she wasn’t having to deal with anger, resentment, or frustration.

The good news was my Ph.D. was free and clear of any indebtedness. A big win for me.

As I collected my things, I wondered what I was going to do. Where I was going to live? How I would support myself until I could officially retire, something I didn’t want to do until I turned 66.

That’s when I heard my little voice say, Don’t worry about it. It’s going to be okay.

Having trusted that little voice in the past, I knew it spoke a truth that I couldn’t comprehend yet.

In the coming months, I was to find out.

Stay tuned for “The Power of Visualization, Part III.

The Power of Visualization, Part I: The Power of Making It Happen

Yesterday, I traveled to Holland to meet with a friend, a former co-worker who I haven’t seen in a couple years. The visit felt like we had seen each other just last week. I love those friendships I have where the bonds are as strong as ever despite the many years between visits.

Two items on my relatively short bucket list are 1) to see a bald eagle in the wild, and 2) see a moose in the wild. For the later, it’ll take a trip to the Upper Peninsula or to Maine where I’d love to do a fall color tour since I’ve never been to that state. But for number one, I knew that the bird had returned to Michigan. I’ve been hoping…

As I was headed to Kalamazoo on 1-94 on my way to Saugatuck to visit my all-time favorite new age store, Mother Moon, before going to Holland, I decided to drive through Fennville, a small community in the middle of nowhere and which has a great winery. Out loud I added, “And wouldn’t it be nice to see a bald eagle there?”

I was enjoying the green foliage on the trees, being able to take my time as I drove in the shaded highway. I noticed lots of blossoming spirea plants, wondering how I could possibly plant one or two at my rental, knowing I couldn’t because they get so big. It brought back memories of being on the farm and the row of blossoming spirea every spring on our property, how it would look like it had snowed on the hedge.


I turned from 40 onto 89, a straight-line of highway that would take me through Fennville over to 31. Not a cloud in the sky. The shaded forests on either side of the road diminished as I began approaching the town.

I looked up and there it was. A bald eagle overhead, soaring in a wide circle, wings spread wide. That pure white head impossible to miss.

bald eagle

I felt as if I had manifested its appearance, that the Universe heard my request and granted it.

So, why haven’t I been able to see an eagle before now? Because I never said when or where I would like to see one. I was specific this time, plus I was in the perfect place where apparently this bird resides, and I was there at the perfect time.

Any other time I’ve talked about wanting to see an eagle in the wild, I’ve been in my house, at my computer or on the phone. Impossible to see one through a ceiling, right?

This isn’t the first time, I’ve drawn something I desired toward me. I wrote about “The Winter Coat” in a blog here five years ago.

A few years ago, I wrote the blog, “Writing Down the Words: Making Magic Happen.” The coat was about imagining my vision as true. This second blog was about imagining the words as true.

And then three years ago when my job disappeared…wait, what? I haven’t told you about that desire that came about unexpectedly and in the most unusual way?

That’s my next blog. Part II. Stay tuned…